Wednesday, June 22, 2011

‘America’s Game: NFL Poised to Win Labor Battle and Lose Public-Health Fight’ ... today at Beyond Chron

[posted 6/16/11 at]

Those who think the bargaining and legal skirmishes surrounding the National Football League and its players are in sudden death overtime have fallen for the oldest play-action fake in the book. The NFL lockout likely will resolve itself, perhaps even very soon and essentially in the owners’ favor. But the abject failure of both sides to accept accountability for the mental health of a generation of athletes – putting American youth in harm’s way in service of an industry bursting at the seams with greed – is a story that hasn’t even reached the two-minute warning of the first half.

The eyes of the sports-legal world are on Tom Brady v. NFL, the lawsuit by some of football’s richest stars to end the lockout. Not a single major newspaper or radio/television outlet has picked up the decision last month, in U.S. District Court in Maryland, in Brent V. Boyd v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan.
In a miscarriage of justice no less profound for not being shocking, Judge J. Frederick Motz granted summary judgment to the league’s retirement plan in a suit brought by Boyd, a Minnesota Viking offensive lineman in the 1980s, whose diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy was all but confirmed by a recent “virtual biopsy.” Boyd’s case and countless parallel ones, over a period of many years, will bring the human and societal toll of football home to the American public long after the beer and guacamole have been taken out of ice for this fall’s tailgate parties.


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